Amer­i­cans protest Trump’s re­moval of US at­tor­ney gen­eral

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Tens of thou­sands of pro­test­ers across the United States de­cried Don­ald Trump’s re­moval of Jeff Ses­sions as the coun­try’s at­tor­ney gen­eral, a move they fear threat­ens the in­de­pen­dence of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s probe into Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

Those gath­ered in cities and towns from Bos­ton to Hous­ton to Seat­tle said Trump “crossed a red line” when he picked Matthew G. Whi­taker as act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral af­ter ask­ing and re­ceiv­ing Ses­sions’ res­ig­na­tion on Wed­nes­day. Whi­taker, a po­lit­i­cal loy­al­ist, has crit­i­cized the spe­cial coun­sel’s probe into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween Rus­sia and Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. The pro­gres­sive group Moveon.org or­ga­nized what it said were hun­dreds of “Pro­tect Mueller” protests, held out­side city halls and fed­eral court­houses, in parks and on down­town streets and univer­sity grounds.

With the Mas­sachusetts State House as a back­drop, sev­eral thou­sand peo­ple loudly voiced their dis­ap­proval of Ses­sions be­ing forced out. “Enough is enough,” they chanted, and “hands off Robert Mueller.”

Peo­ple held home­made signs with mes­sages such as “Pres­i­dent, not King” and “Not above the law.”

“Our Amer­ica, Not Trump’s Amer­ica,” one sign read as peo­ple staged demon­stra­tions in New York’s Times Square. Some peo­ple wore shirts em­bla­zoned with the words “Rise and Re­sist.”

In Lafayette Square across from the White House, sev­eral pro­test­ers in the crowd of sev­eral hun­dred held let­ters spell­ing out “Save Mueller” in white lights. They called for the act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral to re­cuse him­self from any in­volve­ment in the spe­cial coun­sel’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Whi­taker has made it known that he is hos­tile to the probe into whether the Trump cam­paign col­luded with the Rus­sians and the pres­i­dent ob­structed jus­tice.

“Whi­taker must re­cuse and Congress must act to pro­tect the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said an or­ga­nizer of the march out­side the White House. Other speak­ers said Trump thought Amer­i­can voices would be silent af­ter the midterm elec­tion and ac­cused the pres­i­dent of at­tack­ing the rule of law.

Midterm elec­tions

US Democrats re­gained con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, a mo­men­tous win in the midterm elec­tions that will en­able the party to block much of Trump’s agenda and bom­bard the pres­i­dent with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The midterms were a tale of two cham­bers: The Democrats won key House con­gres­sional races while Repub­li­cans ex­panded their ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate.

The elec­tion served as a ref­er­en­dum on Trump’s Amer­ica, and whether Repub­li­cans should re­main in ab­so­lute power in Wash­ing­ton.

Democrats needed to flip 23 seats to take con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and early on Wed­nes­day morn­ing hit the 218 needed to win back the cham­ber from Repub­li­cans, break­ing oneparty rule in Congress af­ter eight years.

Speak­ing in Wash­ing­ton, the House Demo­cratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, said the party would use its newly won ma­jor­ity to pur­sue a bi­par­ti­san agenda for a coun­try. Pelosi said Amer­i­cans have all “had enough of di­vi­sion.”

Ear­lier in the evening, the White House spokes­woman, Sarah Huck­abee San­ders, sought to down­play Demo­cratic gains, say­ing: “Maybe you get a rip­ple, but I cer­tainly don’t think that there’s a blue wave.”

And de­spite the losses, Trump in a tweet early on Wed­nes­day called the midterm re­sults a “Big Vic­tory.” But Democrats racked up up­sets across the coun­try. In­cum­bent Randy Hult­gren lost a tra­di­tion­ally Repub­li­can sub­ur­ban district to Lau­ren Un­der­wood, a 31-year-old African Amer­i­can nurse who ran a cam­paign fo­cused on health­care. Mil­i­tary vet­eran Max Rose pulled off an un­ex­pected win in a con­ser­va­tive district on Staten Is­land in New York, and the deep red state of Ok­la­homa elected Demo­crat Kendra Horn to a district cen­tered around Ok­la­homa City. Else­where, Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haa­land made his­tory by be­com­ing the first Na­tive Amer­i­can women elected to Congress. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-cortez of New York be­came the first woman in her 20s to win a seat and was joined by 29-year-old Abby Finke­nauer in Iowa.

It was a record year for women, with at least 90 win­ning their elec­tions on Tues­day. The ma­jor­ity of them were Democrats, and at least 28 of them were elected to the House for the first time. Vot­ers also sent Congress its first two Mus­lim women – Rashida Tlaib in Michi­gan and Il­han Omar in Min­nesota.

How­ever, Repub­li­cans ex­tended their con­trol of the Se­nate, paving the way for a di­vided Congress.

The Wash­ing­ton Post, Voice of Amer­ica and the Guardian con­trib­uted to this story.

REUTERS

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